A surprising number of people don’t like Courtney. And by “don’t like” I mean “despise”. So her show at the Theatre for the Living Arts was not sold out. That was fine, it was a fascinating crowd of true fans, and not terribly crowded. At points it was a sing-a-long, which seems better suited for campfires and the other types of artists I enjoy.
Not exactly Kumbaya, but it worked.
Music is an odd thing. It can bring people together or tear them apart. When the concert was announced, there were a lot of hate comments towards Courtney. The crowd at the concert was diverse, punkers and grunge types to families with children (that surprised me). We met a nice young man who introduced himself as “Big Gay Mike”, who was exceptionally friendly.
While we were waiting for the concert to begin, I was thinking how diverse the TLA is. Last month, Tom Jones played there. Next month, Hanson. Courtney isn’t exactly Lieve’s style, and I thought about the varied artists we have introduced to each other. Lieve had never heard of Laura Nyro when we saw “One Child Born“, she didn’t know Dar Williams or Booker T., she wasn’t familiar with the Left Banke, Alanis Morissette, Ian Hunter, Michael Nesmith, or Dr. John. Lieve has introduced me to bands I didn’t know, Citizen Cope, Kaki King, and The Monochrome Set to name just a few. Together we have found Tired Pony, Gary Clark Jr., and Sharon Van Etten.
We both have musical backgrounds, Lieve worked for a couple of record companies, including Factory, I’ve been a musician, trained on a variety of instruments and played in a few bands. We have slightly different approaches, I prefer a little raw edge, she’s more into new wave/techno, and we meet on female singer songwriters. Music takes you down unexpected paths. Largely because labels really don’t work in music. You can pretty much classify the majority of popular music of the late twentieth century as “rock”, but the sub-genres are almost as numerous as fans.
In a previous life I worked with a man named Guy Campo. Through the wonders of Social media I found that in addition to the place where we had worked together he’s performing throughout the area both solo and with his band, The Contusions. Lieve and I have seen him play, and also routinely run into him and his fiance at concerts. As I’ve gotten to know his fiance, we found that we had attended the same Allman Brothers concert back in 1976. Somehow you can see the tapestry of music and threads intersecting.
Music brings people together in ways never expected. Then there’s the other side, the “breakup song”. When you’re feeling down, there’s nothing like the right song to make you feel even worse.
My feeling is that it’s harmonic. As we exist as energy disguised as human beings, certain vibrations resonate. Vision, taste, and smell can all bring back memories, but music brings you back to the place, time, weather conditions, and mood, that you associate with a particular song. These feelings can be bad or good, and they may change over time, but nothing transports me like music. People who only like one specific type of music are impaired, there’s an incredible range out there, and it all has more in common than its differences.
I even like some rap.